Jill Stein, a Massachusetts physician, won the 2012 presidential nomination of the Green Party of the United States yesterday at the party’s national convention in Baltimore. Per her request, Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign national coordinator Cheri Honkala of Minnesota was selected as her running mate.
Stein, who previously ran as the Green Party’s nominee for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002, when she lost to current Republican presumptive nominee Mitt Romney, had secured the party’s presidential nomination last month with a victory in the California primary. With 193.5 votes in the final delegate tally, she edged comedienne Roseanne Barr, who finished second with 72, and air quality inspector Kent Mesplay.
Since announcing her campaign in 2011, Stein has run on a platform referred to as the Green New Deal. It consists of the institution of the right to a job, the adoption of green technologies and production for a shift to a green economy, reform of the financial sector, and the “strengthening” of democratic government. During her acceptance speech, she mentioned the Green New Deal, saying that it “ends unemployment in America.” In addition, she attacked President Barack Obama, accusing him of continuing the policies of former president George W. Bush.
The vice presidential nominee, Honkala, previously ran as the Green Party nominee for Sheriff of Philadelphia. She is a poverty and homelessness activist, who was once homeless herself. Because of that, she believes she can run as a representative of the poverty-stricken, arguing that neither Obama nor Romney have addressed the issue.
The Green Party is a left-leaning political establishment founded around 1996. Consumer advocate Ralph Nader had best showing as the party’s presidential nominee, winning 2.74 percent in the close 2000 election. Some believe Nader took enough votes from then-Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore to cost him election to Republican George W. Bush.
For 2012, the party is already on the ballot in 21 states, and hopes to ultimately attain access to 45 by Election Day. In 2008, the party appeared on 32 state ballots, and the presidential nominee Cynthia McKinney, a former Representative from Georgia, received 0.12 percent of the total.